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Moon Over Manifest

Moon Over Manifest

by Clare Vanderpool

Analysis: Tone

Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?

Warm (Happiness is a Warm Manifest?)

You know what's really hard? Telling a story about death and pain, cons and spies—and still making the town where it all goes down seem cozy and friendly anyway. The tone in Moon Over Manifest really is warm and inviting in spite of all the mischief, violence, and hard times the characters are experiencing.

From the welcoming, familial attitudes of the characters ("'Now go get your pop and a sandwich, sweet pea'" [3.41]) to the descriptions of the dilapidated buildings ("I kicked off my shoes and felt the cool floorboards shift and groan beneath my feet as if the room was adjusting to sudden occupation after being long empty" [3.71]), the book just radiates homey-ness.

And when bad things happen, it seems like there's always someone there to lend a helping hand. Take this moment, for example: "Jinx sat to the side of the stage, his shoulder in a bandage and sling. Shady brought him a glass of punch" (38.23). Sure, graveyards and guns are scary, but if you live in Manifest, don't worry too much—you'll be just fine.

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